Colorado has laws against the act known as “menacing.” In Colorado, menacing involves knowingly placing someone “in fear of serious bodily injury” or attempting to do so. Menacing with a deadly weapon would be the act of threatening another person while brandishing a gun, knife or similar item.
Everyone gets angry at some point or another, but all it takes it a single transgression to be charged with menacing. This carries various consequences depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Misdemeanor or felony?
Menacing can qualify as either a misdemeanor or felony. In the event there is no weapon involved, then menacing on its own counts as a Class 3 misdemeanor. The penalties would include a fine ranging between $50 and $750 as well as a maximum of six months in jail. However, if the person used a weapon, then the charges automatically upgrade to a Class 5 felony. The charges here would include a fine between $1,000 and $100,000 as well as between one and three years in prison. In some cases, the person does not have to show the weapon to face a felony charge. If a person merely hints or implies that he or she has a weapon, then a felony charge could be possible.
What constitutes menacing?
Menacing can be a lot of things. It can merely involve yelling threats at someone or wielding a weapon. A weapon is anything that can cause harm to another person, While it includes guns and knives, it can also encompass hammers, baseball bats, rocks, or other physical objects. The key element is intent. It’s not enough for the alleged victim to have felt scared. The perpetrator must have intended to instill fear in the alleged victim.
As with other criminal charges, there are defenses to the charge of menacing. If you face a menacing charge, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.